How do you make the connection between caring for others and caring for yourself? Melissa McKinley's nursing career caused her to put her own health on the back burner. Yet it was her same instinct to look after people—this time, her family—that inspired her to take control of her life.
This is Melissa's story.
Working as a nurse made it hard to be healthy, but I never really thought I was overweight. At 170 pounds, I told myself I had a "large bone structure."
I first decided to start losing weight in January of 2016 when I went shopping for a dress to wear to the nursing ball. I wanted something stunning, but none of the gorgeous dresses I tried on fit me.
I was so embarrassed by each one I put on that I wouldn't come out of the changing room to show my boyfriend. I left disappointed and with a goal: to fit into a nice dress in time for the nursing ball the next month.
But I fully committed myself to competing in My Fit Squad to help my baby brother. I wanted to introduce fitness into his life to help with his depression. I knew from experience that weight lifting and cardio provided a great release from everything else that we can't control. My brother, my mother, and I all competed.
Simply put, I followed my meal plan and worked out as often as I could. When I felt like giving up or skipping the gym I would look at how far I had come. Looking back on progress pictures was what kept me on track.
I also followed Lauren Drain on Instagram. She's a nurse and a fitness model. She is one of my biggest inspirations because I can relate to her.
My mother is my other inspiration. She has more dedication and determination than anyone I know. I called her every day I didn't feel up to going to the gym. If my mother told me I was going, I was going.